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Into the Outdoors - Pymatuning Lake

This week, I thought it might be fun to take a little look at Pymatuning Lake. This huge, man made lake is located in both Pennsylvania and Ohio. It was one of the favorite spots of my late wife and me. We went there often, to look at the wildlife, visit the museums, feed the fish at the spillway and have a picnic. I haven’t been there since her passing, but I am planning to make a trip there soon,

As for myself, I haven’t fished Pymatuning in a very long time. I’ve always had a good time there, and I can’t recall of ever getting totally skunked. There are just so many different species of fish in the big lake that something is usually biting, at least a little bit. Walleyes are probably the number one quarry for anglers, and the lake has lots of them. I’ve had my best luck with nightcrawlers, although the biggest walleye I ever caught, which won the Pymatuning walleye contest many years ago, was caught on a Hot-n-Tot lure. Jigs work very well, too, but I have never been able to master the use of them.

Walleyes are just one of the many opportunities at this lake. Big crappies, yellow perch and bluegills are abundant, as are various types of catfish. It is, therefore, a good idea to take several combos and a variety of baits along on your trip. That way, you’ll be prepared for whatever is biting.

A couple of precautions are in order here. While you can fish from a boat on the Ohio side of the lake with a Pennsylvania license, you cannot do it from shore. To fish from shore, you must purchase an Ohio license. Also, this lake is very big and shallow. That means it can get rough quickly. When I say rough, I mean just that. Once, years ago, the propeller of my outboard was actually coming up out of the water due to the waves. I have never been so glad to get to shore as I was that day. Further, if your sense of direction is less than ideal, you can get lost on the lake. Not lost in the sense of danger or of never being found, but lost in the sense of a major inconvenience and a ruined day on the water. A GPS unit can be worth its weight in gold in this particular situation. Peace of mind alone makes it worth having one.

In addition to the fishing, there are other neat things to do at Pymatuning. One of the most famous attractions is the Linesville Spillway. Here, incredible numbers of carp are found. Little stands sell stale bread to feed them. When you toss a slice in, some of the carp are big enough to swallow it in one bite.

Both the Game Commission and the Fish and Boat commission have museums nearby, and they are well worth seeing. Just about any waterfowl in Pennsylvania can be found there as well. To top it all off, there are lots of neat places for a picnic. All in all, Pymatuning just plain makes for a great trip.

The area is also great for families. There are plenty of things for kids to see and do. It is a great way to kindle a fascination in them for the outdoors.

If you have not already done so, be sure to send in your doe license application. County treasurers started to accept them on July 13th. There is little doubt that you will still be able to get one.

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